Eberle says he had nothing to do with MIA “skeleton in closet”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE,  July/August 2003:

Responding to the June 2003 ANIMAL PEOPLE
article “Judge imposes settlement of fundraiser
Eberle’s libel suit,”  Bruce Eberle of Fund
Raising Strategies Inc. both telephoned and wrote
in reference to four paragraphs quoted and
paraphrased from a Los Angeles Times exposé of
the activities of his former client Jack Bailey.
The complete exposé,  by Los Angeles
Times staff writer Scott Harris,  was originally
published on August 7,  1991,  and is accessible
at <www.latimes.com>.
Stated Eberle,  “Neither my company nor I
had anything whatsoever to do with a fund appeal
[discussed by Harris] that referred to Jack
Bailey bringing back a partial skeleton of a
supposed American POW.  If such a fund appeal
was,  in fact,  mailed,  my company and/or myself
did not create it,   mail it,  or have anything
to do with it.”


Reporting that Eberle represented Bailey
from 1983 to 1989,  and directly quoting Eberle
about their fundraising relationship just before
describing and quoting from the appeal about the
partial skeleton,  Harris wrote that the appeal
was mailed in 1987.
On November 8,  1992,  Washington Post
columnists Jack Anderson and Michael Binstein
stipulated that this appeal was mailed in March
1987.  Anderson and Binstein mentioned Eberle as
Bailey’s “chief fund-raiser at this time.”  The
column is accessible at <www.washingtonpost.com>.
ANIMAL PEOPLE asked Eberle to explain the
apparent contradictions between his statements
and the reportage of Harris,  Anderson,  and
Binstein.  ANIMAL PEOPLE also asked Eberle for
copies of any responses he had made to their
reportage.
Eberle replied:
“Well after the fact,  I learned that
Jack Bailey sent out appeals on his own.  I’m not
sure the L.A. Times writer has the year correct.
It seems to me that Jack [Bailey] recovered that
skeleton after we did business with him,  but I
can’t find the news stories of the time which
would validate his date or correct it.
Nevertheless,  if a mailing was sent out, it did
not come through me or anyone that worked for me.
Truthfully,  that is the first time I ever heard
of a mailing on that topic going out.
“As far as the L.A. Times article is
concerned,  I have never seen it previously,”
Eberle continued.  “The bottom line is that it is
factually incorrect.  I don’t have a clipping
service,  nor have I been interested in this old,
old story.  I don’t recall seeing that column and
I didn’t subscribe to The Washington Post at that
time.  I don’t have any idea where this false
story came from,  but it’s simply untrue.”
Within their articles,  Harris,  Anderson
and Binstein cited as their primary source a
November 1987 report by then-Defense Intelligence
Agency chief General James W. Shufelt,  U.S.
Army,  which was submitted to U.S. Rep. Stephen
Solarz (D-N.Y.),  then chair of the House
Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs,
during hearings about fundraising in connection
with the POW-MIA issue.
These hearings preceded those of the U.S.
Senate Select Committee on MIA/POW,  whose 1992
final report cited other appeals in concluding
that Eberle in the early 1980s produced “clear
examples of misleading solicitations” about the
MIA/POW issue.
ANIMAL PEOPLE has contacted Shufelt,
Solarz,  the Los Angeles Times,  and the Library
of Congress,  among other sources,  seeking the
Shufelt report.  At deadline no copy had arrived.
In the discovery phase of the Eberle
lawsuit against ANIMAL PEOPLE,  we requested but
were denied copies of all of the appeals that
Eberle produced for Bailey so as to be able to
see for ourselves whether any of the appeals
described during the Senate hearings might have
been produced by others.
Eberle now represents,  or has recently
represented,  animal charities including the
Elephants of Africa Rescue Society,  Great Cats
In Crisis,  Noah’s Lost Ark,  Peaceful Valley
Donkey Sanctuary,  Tiger Creek,  Tiger Haven,
and Wildlife Waystation.

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